11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy[a] met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”
14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.
15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.
17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”Luke 17:11-19 (NIV)
A dangerous occurrence in relationships is when one person assumes the other person knows what is being thought or felt. This happens far too often and frequently leads to hurt feelings. It is important for humans to make the effort to verbally express to one another feelings and appreciation. By expressing these items, confusion and doubt can be avoided. This helps to bring clarity into the relationship.
In our passage today, Jesus encounters ten lepers who cry out to him for assistance. Jesus responds by sending them to a priest. This is customary when a person appears to be healed from leprosy. The priest had to declare them clean before they could return to regular society. What seems different here is that they were healed on the way, not before they left. They must have believed Jesus would heal them before they arrived at the priest’s location. Then the account shares that only one of them returned to thank Jesus, a Samaritan whose nationality was despised by the Jews. Jesus declares that this man’s faith has made him well.
Here we are reminded of the value in expressing gratitude. Gratitude is one of those feelings that was referred to above. The other nine must have assumed Jesus would know how grateful they are for being healed. They probably wanted to return to their families and former life so quickly that they did not think to take the time to find Jesus and express thanks.
We can be guilty of the same assumptions and being too busy to stop long enough to offer thanks. We do this with one another. We do this even more often with the Lord. Our thoughts can be that others and the Lord obviously know we are thankful so keep moving forward with life’s activities. It can be an unspoken assumption.
Jesus tells us that the opposite is true. Jesus shows how much it means to be sought out and thanked. The expression of these assumed feelings make a significant difference. Take time to pause and give thanks when someone does something for you. Make the time to express your gratitude to the Lord. Afterall, the Lord gave you the air you just breathed and so much more.